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AN EPITAPH ON THE MARCHIONESS OF WINCHESTERI
This rich marble doth inter
The honoured wife of Winchester,
A viscount's daughter, an earl's heir,
Besides what her virtues fair
Added to her noble birth,
More than she could own from earth.
Summers three times eight, save one,
She had told; alas! too soon,
After so short time of breath,
To house with darkness, and with death.
Yet had the number of her days
Been as complete as was her praise,
Nature and fate had had no strife
In giving limit to her life.
Her high birth, and her graces sweet,
Quickly found a lover meet;
The virgin quire for her request
The god that sits at marriage feast;
He at their invoking came,
But with a scarce well-lighted flame,
And in his garland as he stood
Ye might discern a cypress bud.?
Once had the early matrons run
To greet her of a lovely son,
And now with second hope she goes,
And calls Lucina to her throes;
But whether by mischance or blame
Atropos for Lucina: came,
And with remorseless cruelty
Spoiled at once both fruit and tree:
The hapless babe before his birth
Had burial, yet not laid in earth,
And the languished mother's womb
Was not long a living tomb. 1 Jane, daughter of Thomas Lord Viscount Savage, of Rocksavage, Chester. She died in childbed of a second son, in the twenty-third year of her age.
2 Symbolical of a funeral. 3 i. e. the Fates instead of the goddess who presides over child-birth.
So have I seen some tender slip,
Saved with care from winter's nip,
The pride of her carnation train,
Plucked up by some unheedy swain
Who only thought to crop the flower
New shot up from vernal shower;
But the fair blossom hangs the head
Side-ways, as on a dying bed,
And those pearls of dew she wears,
Prove to be presaging tears,
Which the sad morn had let fall
On her hastening funeral.
Gentle lady, may thy grave
Peace and quiet ever have;
After this, thy travel sore,
Sweet rest seize thee evermore,
That to give the world increase,
Shortened hast thy own life's lease.
Here, besides the sorrowing
That thy noble house doth bring,
Here be tears of perfect moan
Wept for thee in Helicon,
And some flowers, and some bays,
For thy hearse, to strew the ways,
Sent thee from the banks of Came,
Devoted to thy virtuous name;
Whilst thou, bright saint, high sitt'st in glory,
Next her much like to thee in story,
That fair Syrian shepherdess,
Who, after years of barrenness,
The highly favoured Joseph bore
To him that served for her before,
And at her next birth, much like thee,
Through pangs fled to felicity,
Far within the bosom bright
Of blazing Majesty and Light:
There with thee, new welcome saint,
Like fortunes may her soul acquaint,
With thee there clad in radiant sheen,
o marchioness, but now a queen.
Now the bright morning star, day's harbinger,
Comes dancing from the east, and leads with her
The flowery May, who from her green lap throws'
The yellow cowslip, and the pale primrose
Hail, bounteous May, that dost inspire
Mirth and youth and warm desire ;
Woods and groves are of thy dressing,
Hill and dale doth boast thy blessing.
Thus we salute thee with our early song,
And welcome thee, and wish thee long.
What needs my Shakspeare for his honoured bones
The labour of an age in piléd stones?
Or that his hallowed reliques should be hid
Under a star-ypointing pyramid ?
Dear son of memory, great heir of fame,
What need’st thou such weak witness of thy name?
Thou in our wonder and astonishment
Hast built thyself a livelong monument.
For whilst to the shame of flow-endeavouring art
Thy easy numbers flow, and that each heart
Hath from the leaves of thy unvalued book
Those Delphic lines with deep impression took ;
Then thou our fancy of itself bereaving,
Dost make us marble with too much conceiving;
And so sepulchred in such pomp dost lie,
That kings, for such a tomb, would wish to die.
Shakspeare, Richard II. act v. sc. 4
“ Who are the violets now That strow the green lap of the new-come spring." 2 In the twenty-second year of the poet's age.
ON THE UNIVERSITY CARRIER,
WHO SICKENED IN THE TIME OF HIS VACANCY, BEING FORBID TO
GO TO LONDON, BY REASON OF THE PLAGUE.
HERE lies old Hobson ;Death hath broke his girt
And here, alas! hath laid him in the dirt;
Or else the ways being foul, twenty to one,
He's here stuck in a slough, and overthrown.
'Twas such a shifter, that if truth were known,
Death was half glad when he had got him down;
For he had, any time this ten years full,
Dodged with him betwixt Cambridge and the Bull
And surely Death could never have prevailed,
Had not his weekly course of carriage failed;
But lately finding him so long at home,
And thinking now his journey's end was come,
And that he had ta'en up his latest inn,
In the kind office of a chamberlin
Showed him his room where he must lodge that night,
Pulled off his boots, and took away the light:
If any ask for him, it shall be said,
Hobson has supped, and 's newly gone to bed.
HERE lieth one, who did most truly prove
That he could never die while he could move;
So hung his destiny, never to rot
While he might still jog on and keep his trot;
1 Mr. Thomas Hobson was a carrier, and the first man in this island who let out hackney horses. He lived in Cambridge, and, observing that the scholars rid hard, his manner was to keep a large stable of horses, with boots, bridles, and whips, to furnish the gentlemen at once, without going from college to college to borrow, as they have done since the death of this worthy man. I say, Mr. Hobson kept a stable of forty good cattle, always ready and fit for travel
Made of sphere-metal, never to decay
Until his revolution was at stay.
Time numbers motion, yet (without a crime
Gainst old truth) motion numbered out his time
And like an engine moved with wheel and weight,
His principles being ceased, he ended straight.
Rest that gives all men life, gave him his death,
And too much breathing put him out of breath;
Nor were it contradiction to affirm
Too long vacation hastened on his term.
Merely to drive the time away he sickened,
Fainted, and died, nor would with ale be quickened,
Nay,” quoth he, on his swooning bed out-stretched;
If I mayn't carry, sure I'll ne'er be fetched, But vow, though the cross doctors all stood hearers, For one carrier put down to make six bearers.” Ease was his chief disease, and to judge right, He died for heaviness that his cart went light: His leisure told him that his time was come, And lack of load made his life burdensome, That even to his last breath (there be that say't) As he were pressed to death, he cried “More weight;" But had his doings lasted as they were, He had been an immortal carrier. Obedient to the moon he spent his date In course reciprocal, and had his fate Linked to the mutual flowing of the seas, Yet (strange to think) his wain was his increase : His letters are delivered all and gone, Only remains this superscription.
ling; but when a man came for a horse, he was led into the stable, where there was great choice, but he obliged him to take the horse which stood next to the stable-door; so that every customer was alike well served, according to his chance, and every horse ridden with the same justice; from whence it became a proverb, when what ought to be your choice was forced upon you, to say “Hobson's choice." This memorable man stands drawn in fresco at an inn (which he used) in Bishopsgate-street, with an hundred pound bag under his arm, with this inscription upon the said bag, "" The fruitful mother of a hundred more."-Spectator, No. 509.